Financing Infrastructure in Developing Countries: Lessons from the Railway Age
AbstractArguments for financing infrastructure development through government subsidies and foreign borrowing meet with increasing skepticism. Numerous"white elephants"subsidized by governments have strengthened doubts about the efficacy of public finance, and the debt-servicing problems of the 1980s have weakened arguments for foreign borrowing. Recent innovative suggestions for financing infrastructure investments in developing countries have a back-to-the-future quality. At the heart of the nineteenth century debate on financing infrastructure development - especially railways - lay certain concepts: relying on private finance, encouraging the growth of domestic financial markets, and choosing financial instruments that minimize the risk of dependence on foreign funds. The author reviews the historical record in an attempt to glean lessons for developing countries today. In the nineteenth century, much as in many of today's less developed and less liberalized economies, not all the informational and contractual preconditions for efficient private or commercial finance of infrastructure projects prevailed. In some regions, it was difficult to tap investors at home or abroad. Many countries lacked the private institutions (such as universal banks) and public ones (such as regulatory agencies) needed to facilitate monitoring, to discipline management, and to ensure an adequate flow of information to investors. In places as diverse as Canada, India, Spain, and the United States, getting enough finance often required that the government provide collateral (land grants) and bond guarantees - especially where asymmetric information caused credit rationing. The main lessons: exploiting nontraditional approaches to financing infrastructure investment requires action on two fronts. First, liberalizing and developing domestic financial markets. And second reforming administrative mechanisms that ensure accountability from enterprises enjoying government subsidies or guara
Download InfoTo our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by World Bank Group in its journal World Bank Research Observer.
Volume (Year): 10 (1995)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: http://wbro.oxfordjournals.org/
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Eichengreen, Barry, 1994. "Financing Infrastructure in Developing Countries: Lessons from the Railway Age," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt39z8346j, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Barry Eichengreen., 1994. "Financing Infrastructure in Developing Countries: Lessons from the Railway Age," Economics Working Papers 94-230, University of California at Berkeley.
- Eichengreen, Barry, 1994. "Financing infrastructure in developing countries : lessons from the Railway Age," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1379, The World Bank.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jenks, Leland H., 1951. "Britain and American Railway Development," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(04), pages 375-388, September.
- Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
- Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
- Jenks, Leland H., 1944. "Railroads as an Economic Force in American Development," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(01), pages 1-20, May.
- de Meza, David & Webb, David C, 1987. "Too Much Investment: A Problem of Asymmetric Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 281-92, May.
- George A. Akerlof & Paul M. Romer, 1993. "Looting: The Economic Underworld of Bankruptcy for Profit," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(2), pages 1-74.
- Singh, Nirvikar & Srinivasan, T. N., 2004.
"Fiscal Policy in India: Lessons and Priorities,"
Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series
qt67t3p20w, Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
- Singh, Nirvikar & Srinivasan, T. N., 2004. "Fiscal Policy in India: Lessons and Priorities," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt67t3p20w, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
- Singh, Nirvikar & Srinivasan, T. N., 2004. "Fiscal Policy in India: Lessons and Priorities," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8nx3v467, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
- P. Nayak, 2007. "Infrastructure Development in India An Appraisal," Working Papers id:980, eSocialSciences.
- Ramamurti, Ravi, 1997. "Testing the limits of privatization: Argentine railroads," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(12), pages 1973-1993, December.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.